It is not often that you get a chance to look directly into the face of what Hannah Arendt termed the banality of evil. But David Horowitz had a chance to do just that at U.C. San Diego earlier this week. Horowitz was speaking at an event organized by the College Republicans.
As Michael Totten reports on his blog:
“Horowitz and his bodyguard received multiple verbal threats from members of the Muslim Students Association as they walked into the lecture hall. One student threatened, “Horowitz! Why don’t you come back here without your bodyguard and see what happens.” In spite of the threats, Horowitz’s lecture was attended by a crowd of about 200 students and supporters, and he was able to deliver his presentation without interruption.
The most notable moment of the evening came during the question and answer period when Horowitz had a chilling exchange with a member of the MSA in which he prodded the student to reveal the depraved depths of her Jew-hatred.
After the student refused to condemn the terrorist organization Hamas which seeks the extermination of the Jews, Horowitz addressed her saying, “I am a Jew. The head of Hizbollah has said that he hopes that we will gather in Israel so he doesn’t have to hunt us down globally. For or against it?”
The MSA member responded, “For it.”
Horowitz then thanked the student for attending his lecture and revealing to everyone the Muslim Students Association’s true intentions towards the Jews and Israel.
“The surprising part about this exchange is not the depth of the student’s hatred for the Jews, but that she was willing to admit it in front of an audience,” commented Horowitz. “When I spoke at UC-Santa Barbara, fifty members of the MSA were sitting in the audience, and not one of them would condemn Hamas or Hizbollah.”
The startling thing about this exchange is that such bare faced advocacy for the annihilation of an another people does not flutter an eyelash among university administrators, College Democrats or many left wing Jewish organizations. There is a tacit acceptance that such a response deserves to stand as a reflection of the student’s right to hold and express whatever views she wishes.
A teacher of the student at UCSD was quick to condemn Horowitz but not the student.He wrote on Horowitz’s blog:
” This girl is actually my student.” A. Casavantes wrote on the comment’s section of Howrowitz’s blog. ” I know her to be an intelligent , moral young woman who actually believes in peace. As a peace loving Catholic teacher , I am saddened that this speaker – her elder- manipulated the conversation in this fashion to make her look like someone she isn’t , out of an egotistical desire to prove his own point rather than engaging in a constructive dialogue.”
But there is nothing intelligent nor moral about the student’s response. Nor can Horowitz be seen to be manipulating anything at all. He asked a direct question and received a direct answer. What the comments reveals is that UCSD professors are apparently willing to condone the expression of views of murder on campus but have only words of vitriol to level at conservative speakers who expose them.
Another nail in the coffin of our hallowed institutions of learning where constructive dialogue long ago became a fig leaf for the importation of the most hateful and destructive ideologies.